Last Updated on April 8, 2021
I don’t own my home, but I’ve been dreaming about having a place all to myself. I dream of a lush veggie garden, a gray water system, solar panels, and a battery to keep it sustainably powered all night long. And, while I’m stoked about having a positive impact, I’ve wondered if the savings are really there… I mean, is solar energy worth it?
After all, solar can be a large investment so it’s pretty understandable to ask, “Is it actually going to save money?”
This post was sponsored by Vote Solar a nonprofit that advocates for a just 100% clean energy transition. All thoughts and opinions are my own; for more information please see my disclosure policy.
Vote Solar has created a complete guide to going solar from saving money and becoming energy independent, to reducing pollution and protecting the environment!
Recently, I’ve been working on a series called save money, save the planet. I first started going “zero waste” out of financial necessity. I was just trying to save a buck or two, and only later I found out that many of the financially sound practices I picked up weren’t only better for me, but also better for the planet.
The more I learned about climate change and it’s adverse effects on people, our eco-systems, animals, and more – the more committed I became to reducing my own carbon footprint and impact on the planet.
It’s no secret our homes are one of the single largest emitters of greenhouse gasses from their construction to energy use. What may be less of a secret is that switching to clean energy – more than recycling or biking to work – can have the biggest action on reducing your own carbon footprint!
And, one way to create sustainable energy and reduce your dependency on fossil fuels is to go solar. Not only will you make a big impact in the fight against climate change, but you’ll save money and gain energy independence!
what is solar energy:
Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, and more!
It’s clean. It’s renewable. It’s responsible for creating lots and lots of jobs. Clean energy is one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S. Talk about a win for our economy and the planet.
But, that’s just a few of the benefits of solar energy – let’s talk about more ways you can directly benefit from solar.
benefits of solar energy:
- Long-term value – solar panels have lifespans as high as 30 years (longer if properly maintained). A substantial amount of the initial purchase and installation fee can be reduced by the long-term savings on your electric bills.
- Low maintenance costs – you really only need to worry about cleaning them a couple of times a year, as there is no typical wear and tear.
- Tax incentives – solar panels are eligible for tax deductions at state and federal level. You should be aware that these deductions are dependent on your location and the size of your system. Fortunately, there are also financing options available if you need assistance.
- Increase of home value – Outside of that killer new hydroponic garden you installed in your backyard, having a solar panel increases the evaluation price of your home because of the long-term savings, tax incentives, and environmental benefits it provides.
- Reduced utility bills – how much you actually save will depend on the size of the system and your electricity usage. What’s more is that you can potentially receive payments for surplus energy that goes unused.
- Freedom! – Paired with storage to hold onto your excess solar power, you can decrease your reliance on the big electricity grids and ensure your have energy independence, especially if you live in a place with blackouts from extreme weather.
but, I live in an apartment:
I get it, I live in an apartment too. While I can’t put solar panels directly on my roof, I can still get involved in the clean energy transition!
That’s why I’m so excited to share the work of Vote Solar with you. They advocate for state-level policies to build a strong, just, and inclusive 100% clean-powered future!
They’re working to advance clean energy progress in state legislatures where most decisions about electricity are made. And, they work mostly in these five areas.
- Access & Equity
- Rooftop Solar
- Community Solar (a great way to benefit from solar if you rent!)
- Utility-Scale Solar
- Grid Modernization
Ever since I got involved in local government in 2016, I’ve been passionate about making it easier for others to get involved. If we want to see a long lasting environmental movement – grassroots organization at the local government level is VITAL.
Vote Solar partners with local communities to expand solar access, lower solar costs, and build political power for a just and inclusive clean energy system that benefits EVERYONE and not just the interest of our monopolized utility companies.
The best news is, that you don’t have to own your home to be a solar energy advocate!
how can can I be a solar energy advocate?
One of the best ways is to hold your legislators’ feet to the fire! Call, email, text, and make sure that clean energy initiatives that are designed to benefit EVERYONE are on the top of the agenda. If you don’t know where to start with this, I would love to have you join me for one of my live legislator writing sessions on Instagram. We do them every month!
And, vote solar as a great tab on their website dedicated to helping you take action. It will keep you up-to-date on the energy legislation in your area.
/ TAKE ACTION /
solar energy is great:
We know that going solar is worth it. You’ll be saving money and reducing emissions. So, if you’re able to put solar on your own home, I applaud you.
But, whether you’re in that position or not, you can still advocate for just, clean energy for EVERYONE. Individual action is awesome, but collective action is powerful!
I’ve always said that we need policy, businesses, individuals, groups and organizations all moving at the exact same time – and this is a perfect example of how raising our voices and banding together we can create a better and cleaner future for everyone.
I’d like to give a huge shoutout and thank you to Vote Solar for sponsoring this post. For more information on how you can get involved in creating a solar powered world, head to their website votesolar.org.